Fine friendship requires duration rather than fitful intensity.
Once we have embarked upon this program, we find spiritual recovery through relationships more than any other single factor. We find it through relationships with other people, with ourselves, and with our Higher Power. But most men in recovery need to learn how to be in a relationship. We have to give up ideas that a friendship is an intense connection or a conflict-free blending of like minds.
A meaningful friendship is a long-term dialogue. If there is conflict or if we make a mistake or fail to do what our friend wants of us, we don't end the friendship. We simply have the next exchange to resolve the differences. Our dialogue continues over time, and time - along with many amends - builds the bond. With it develops a deepening sense of reliability and trusting one another. When we have lived with our friend through many experiences - or with our Higher Power - we gain a feeling that we really know him or her in a way we could never have in a brief intense connection.
Today, I will do what I need to do to be reliable in my friendships.
From Touchstones: A Book of Daily Meditations for Men ©1986, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.
Who are the people we really like, and to be with? Most of the time, they are happy people, people who like themselves and others. Being happy is almost the entire secret of being likable. Though no person can expect to be liked by everybody, likable people have the inside track most of the time. How do we become happy and thus likable? We're continuously told that happiness cannot be found in property, power, and prestige. It is rooted instead in self-acceptance. In feeling loved and wanted, and in giving genuine service, maybe just in the form of very useful work.
Twelve Step programs are structured to make us happy if we persevere long enough in working the individual steps. While it may seem contradictory, even people with heavy burdens and personal sorrows can find underlying happiness in the program. A great deal of this also hinges on our belief in a Higher Power and a confidence that we have a place in the universal system.
Many of us have tendencies at time to overdo things, to rush heedlessly along,
impatient with anything that slows us down.
We find it hard to relax and savor life.
When one of us is in a dither to get something done or get somewhere,
a friend may gently remonstrate, "'Easy Does It,' remember?"
There's often a flash of annoyance at the adviser.
And that indicates the advice must have hit home, wouldn't you say?
- Living Sober, p. 44
Thought to ponder . . .
Rashness and haste make all things insecure: Take it easy!
AA-related 'Alconym' . . .
P U T = Patience, Understanding, Tolerance.
Allow yourself to be yourself. If you don't want what the world says you should want, have the courage to say so.